What Not To Be

Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.  Proverbs 26:23


26 1  As snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool.

2  Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight.

3  A whip for the horse, A bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the fool’s back.

4  Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5  Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

6  He who sends a message by the hand of a fool Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. 7  Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools. 8  Like one who binds a stone in a sling Is he who gives honor to a fool. 9  Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard Is a proverb in the mouth of fools.

10  The great God who formed everything Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.

11  As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.

12  Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

26:12 Being haughty is even worse than being a fool.  Egotism is the epitome of folly (28:11).

13  The lazy man says, “There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!”

14  As a door turns on its hinges, So does the lazy man on his bed.

15  The lazy man buries his hand in the bowl; It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.

16  The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can answer sensibly.

17  He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.

18  Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, 19  Is the man who deceives his neighbor, And says, “I was only joking!”

20  Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. 21  As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife. 22  The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.

23  Fervent lips with a wicked heart Are like earthenware covered with silver dross.

26:23 The meaning of this proverb is not far from Jesus’ remarks to His enemies that they were like whitewashed tombs (Matt. 23:27).  No amount of painting on the outside changes the value of the rotten interior.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.   Matthew 23:27

24  He who hates, disguises it with his lips, And lays up deceit within himself; 25  When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, For there are seven abominations in his heart; 26  Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly.

26:24-26 A person who hates says one thing but stores up anger within.  He may find that his hatred hurts him, when in his life there is so much falsehood that no one believes him no matter how gracious and truthful he might be at times.  Revealed before the assembly:  When we lament the unfairness of the prosperity of the wicked and contrast our own situation to theirs, we need to keep Ps. 73:17 in mind.  Their end will more than compensate them for the evil they have done (see Rom. 6:23).

Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end. Psalm 73:17

 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

27  Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

28  A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, And a flattering mouth works


** Proverb chapter 26 warns against various types of people – fool, arrogant, liar, lazy, gossiper, angry, malicious and wicked etc.  They are not mutually exclusive.  And, none of us are immune to these traits.  We all know that they are wrong.   Walk away from the path they are made of.  “Be ye separate.”  So, says Jesus who is the Savior of us from these snares.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  Matthew 5:48








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